Hey guys i wrote a persuasive essay advocating the legalization of Cannabis (marijuana) for my AP Lang class. Let me know what you guys think of it. It's suppose to only be two pages so making it longer is not an option.
"The Truth About Cannabis"
Is marijuana as bad as society makes it out to be? Since the 1930's marijuana has been illegal in the United States. That being said it's somehow America's number one cash crop. Users of the drug aren't the only ones who support cannabis; many of us who do not indulge are pro-legalization because we see that prohibition does more harm than good.
The legalization of marijuana would help get the economy going again. Despite great efforts by the federal government against marijuana, it has become a large part of the national economy. Imagine if we were to legalize and tax it, the government would make tons of profit and we could start paying off this $16trillion national debt. Not to mention it would create tons of jobs and people in prison for marijuana crimes would be released. In a country with only 5% of the earth's population, the United States holds 25% of the world's prisoners ("Marijuana Prison Statistics"). A significant amount of those criminals are in there for drug related crimes.
The war on drugs is a complete failure. It's done nothing but waste tax payer dollars, fill prisons with non violent criminals, and create a black market. The main reason cannabis remains illegal is because lobbyists are making tons of money off of prohibition. For example, Pharmaceutical companies lobby against cannabis because at a lower price, there are so many drugs (painkillers, sleep medication) it could replace. Another group that benefits greatly from prohibition are the drug cartels. Legalize marijuana and you cut a huge percent of their profits, army strength, and political power. Otherwise they're going to do whatever they can to save the marijuana black market.
You could argue that marijuana is physically unhealthy for you and that's why it's illegal. But then you'd have to explain why alcohol and tobacco are legal because those substances are way more harmful than cannabis. 79,000 people a year die from alcohol poisoning, while zero people have died from overdosing on pot People think that prohibition has kept marijuana out of children's hands. They think legalizing this drug would expose more children and teens to it. It's a whole lot easier for kids to obtain marijuana as opposed to alcohol or tobacco. A drug dealer doesn't check for ID like a cashier would. Teens are susceptible to harsher drugs after trying marijuana because they are introduced to these hardcore drugs in the same underground market where they got the marijuana, not because it's a gateway drug. Another thing that is often said is that marijuana is addictive and can be abused, thus making it mentally unhealthy. This is an unfair statement, anything has the potential to be abused, even something as simple as food.
You never hear about the positive effects marijuana can have on society. Many musicians admit that cannabis helps them get creative with their music and opens their minds to new ideas and concepts. Many cancer patients have used medical marijuana as a way of dealing with nausea after treatment or stimulating their appetite. The point is people have benefited from marijuana whether it was for medical or recreational purposes. Cannabis is classified as a schedule one drug, this suggests that it is as dangerous and addictive as heroin, meth, and even more dangerous than cocaine. Even if you believe that's accurate information, who are you to tell people what they can and can't put in their bodies? Expecting everyone to adapt to your beliefs or morals is extremely narrowed minded.